Got your Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, YouTube yet? What, you haven’t gotten any leads, ‘friends’, followers or subscribers? What’s going on here?
Let’s take a step back.
- You Should Be Participating In Social Media
There are millions of conversations going on right now and some of those are about your company. Shouldn’t you be a part of those conversations? Social Media is about finding potential customers where they already exist, not shouting your message out to thousands just hoping that one of them cares. What you need to deliver is value to those existing spaces that your subscribers will enjoy and find use for.
- You need a Plan
If you haven’t started – now is the time to make a genuine plan. If you have started – it’s not too late to make one. Do you want Social Media to be a part of your customer service arsenal, sales team, an extension of your website? Where do you see your Social Media campaign in three years? If that is too much to swallow how about in one month? What changes do YOU need to do to achieve your goals?
Make goals and keep track of your progress regularly. Seth Godin points out that if you don’t have goals then you don’t have to worry about failing. The people in my life who I consider successful didn’t get there without a plan and goals to reach along the way. Your Social Media plan can’t be to join 20 sites, start a blog and just see what happens. I doubt by next year you will be saying ‘Oopsie look at that! I have the most successful blog in the country, 8,000 Twitter followers and can’t find the time to get back to these people who want my product or service’. As our neighbors in Downeast Maine say “You cahn’t get theyah from heeah”.
Research social media sites you are thinking will help your business, come up with your plan, take the steps to execute the plan, track your results and very importantly find ways to improve on that plan regularly.
- Starting is Cheap and Easy – Maintaining It Is the Hard Part
Starting a blog is easy, joining Facebook is easy, signing up for Twitter is easy. Delivering consistent quality content and building those online relationships is the hard part and will take some effort on your part.
This takes time, so maybe it means going into work an hour earlier, using your lunch break or just blocking off a period of time to work on your online social relationships. We didn’t say this wasn’t going to take some effort! There is no magic pill you can swallow to be a social networking queen or king
You have to –I cannot say this enough–have to publish good content on your website and social networking profiles. You have to give people something to share with other people perhaps an interesting blog post, e-book, webinar, or discussion. Share your great website content on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, YouTube profiles.
Social Media is consistently growing and changing. As time passes the salesy empty messages are going to be cast aside and left on the cutting room floor – don’t be left out with them.
- Track Your Progress
Make your goals something you can measure: blog subscribers, numbers of comments on a post, number of followers, number of people attending your webinar, number of visitors to your company’s Facebook page. Social sites can be fun, they can spark great debates, conversations, product updates but you need a reference and small trackable goals so you will know that your efforts are working the way you planned (See #2).
Don’t Be Such a Prude
Social Media is an amazing resource for creating brand loyalty with your clients. Your online profiles should be an extension of your company and your website but you have to loosen up a little. People are connecting with people on the internet. Be a human being not a faceless company. Put your picture on your profile. Don’t hide behind your logo. Participate in conversations, lend your opinion and expertise on a topic. Don’t set all your privacy settings to private. Social Media isn’t very social if you are hiding your content.
Still stumped? Don’t worry, you aren’t going to become an internet celebrity overnight. It takes some time. If you don’t know what to say, just listen. Start by reading your Twitter feed, reading discussions in your LinkedIn Groups and when you have something to say respond. Start there. As you get more comfortable you will find things to say. People want to hear it.
Take a Fun Quiz: How web 2.0 are you from Quizible
Starting in February I will be conducting regular webinars on using Social Media for your business. I am excited to talk more in depth about specific topics. If you have a topic you would like me to present email me or leave a comment below and let me know.
I love feedback and your suggestions. Thank You!
Want to Know More Right Now?
Wondering what del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Squidoo can do your for business? Get the dirt on Web 2.0 and beyond in this introduction to the major social media networks with tips on how to create and maintain a profile for your business for best success.